Liberation of Auschwitz-January 27 1945

On 27 January 1945, Auschwitz was liberated by the 322nd Rifle Division of the Red Army during the Vistula–Oder Offensive. Even though the majority of the prisoners had been forced onto a death march, about 7,000 had been left behind.

The Soviet soldiers were shocked by what they saw. The date is recognized as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Rather then going into the details of that day, because so much has already been written about it, I just want to offer just a few reflective words in a poem titled “We all say Amen”

We all say Amen.

We all have the same colour blood.

We all have the same organs.

We all wear the same clothes.

We all eat when we are hungry.

We all drink when we are thirsty.

We all cry when we are sad.

We all laugh when we hear a joke.

We all pray to the same God, although perhaps in a different way.

We all love in the same way, but maybe in another configuration.

We all say Amen.

Yet it is these few differences you chose to single us out.

We were Jews, Jehovah Witness, Gay, Roma, Disabled or just not in agreement with you.

We all say Amen

Instead of embracing these differences that make us unique, you chose indifference .

Instead of Love, you chose hate and ignorance.

Instead of joy, you chose bitterness and fear.

You wanted everyone to be the same. Have just one identity.

An identity only so relatively few could identify with.

Yet we all say Amen.

Ghetto Fighters’ House Talking Memory – Austrian Cinema during the Nazi Regime Between Alliance and Resistance – 23.1.22

The Ghetto Fighters’ House – Itzhak Katzenelson Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Heritage Museum– known as the “House” – is not only the first Holocaust museum in the world but also the first of its kind to be founded by Holocaust survivors. Since its establishment in 1949, the museum tells the story of the Holocaust during World War II, emphasizing the bravery, spiritual triumph and the incredible ability of Holocaust survivors and the fighters of the revolt to rebuild their lives in a new country about which they had dreamed – the State of Israel.

Last Sunday I had the privilege to attend a zoom session organized by the Ghetto Fighters’ House . The session was about Austrian Cinema during the Nazi Regime. It was very interesting and intriguing. One thing that I hadn’t been aware of was that Jewish actors were already banned to play in Austrian movies before the ‘Anscluss’

This is the recorded session.


Sjelomo Hamburger

This is the aspect of the Holocaust I struggle most with. How can anyone look at this child and perceive him to be a threat to the nation. How can they look at his face and decide that he needs to be killed immediately.

Sjelomo Hamburger would have celebrated his 80th birthday today. But he only reached the age of 2.

Sjelomo Hamburger was the son of Samuel Hamburger and Marianne van Straten.

Samuel and Marianne , lived at Fahrenheitstraat 4 in Amersfoort. They were married 25 August 1939 in Amersfoort,the Netherlands, and their son Sjelomo was born there on 22 January 1942.

A few months after the birth of their son , Samuel and Marianne decided to go into hiding with Sjelomo, to escape the persecution by the Nazis.

During a search for prohibited motion pictures, an Amersfoort police officer discovered two-year old Sjelomo Hamburger in an attic room on the Schimmelpenninckstraat in Amersfoort on 8 June 1944.

I am not sure if his parents were with him. But this is where Sjelomo Hamburger had been hiding there since August 1942. He was deported to Auschwitz via Westerbork on September 3, 1944. There were in total 783 people on that transport, 7776 Jewish, 36 resistance fighters, and 17 were classified as citizen. Two were under the age of 12, 2 year old Sjelomo was one of them.

He was murdered in Auschwitz September 6 1944.


Ghetto Fighters’ House -Talking Memory -The Wannsee conference-90 Minutes of Bureaucratic evil.

On January 16th I had the privilege to attend a zoom conference on the Wannsee conference, which was organized by the Ghetto Fighter’s House museum.

It was The first program in the four part series “Rethinking the ‘Final Solution’ and the Wannsee Conference” marked the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference that took place on January 20th, 1942. In his opening remarks, Dr. Tamir Hod presents a synopsis of the crucial meeting that would decide the fate of millions of Jews in Europe. He discloses archival material related to the subject that was discovered after the fall of the Soviet Block. In his presentation “The Wannsee Conference Now and Then” Dr. Matthias Hass, Head of the Academic Department of the House of the Wannsee Conference Memorial Site and Education Center discusses the activities of the memorial and how the history of the pivotal meeting that sealed the implementation of the “Final Solution” is told to visitors. As well, Hass will present the ongoing research about the Wannsee Conference and how it has helped to further understand the “Final Solution to the Jewish Problem.”

It was kindly recorded and posted on YouTube.


The Wannsee Conference minutes.

On this day 80 years ago, the fate of 11 million European citizens was decided, in this beautiful and majestic building.

These 11 million citizens had only one thing in common, they were Jewish. That was reason enough for the Nazi regime to murder each single one of them. What is so disturbing about this is the business like language that was used during this ‘conference’ the so called Wannsee conference.

I find it striking that the name Wannsee is so similar to the German word for madness ‘Wahnsinn”

Below are the ‘minutes’ of that meeting.

The English text of the Wannsee protocol is based on the official U.S. government translation was prepared for evidence in trials at Nuremberg, as reproduced in John Mendelsohn, ed., The Holocaust: Selected Documents in Eighteen Volumes. Vol. 11: The Wannsee Protocol and a 1944 Report on Auschwitz by the Office of Strategic Services (New York: Garland, 1982), 18-32. Substantial revisions to the Nuremberg text have been made to add clarity and, in some cases, to correct mistakes in an obviously hasty translation.


stamp: Top Secret

30 copies
16th copy

Minutes of discussion.

I. The following persons took part in the discussion about the
final solution of the Jewish question which took place in Berlin,
am Grossen Wannsee No. 56/58 on 20 January 1942.

Gauleiter Dr. Meyer and Reichsamt- Reich Ministry for
leiter Dr. Leibbrandt the Occupied Eastern

Secretary of State Dr. Stuckart Reich Ministry for
the Interior

Secretary of State Neumann Plenipotentiary for
the Four Year Plan

Secretary of State Dr. Freisler Reich Ministry of

Secretary of State Dr. Buehler Office of the Govern-
ment General

Under Secretary of State Dr. Luther Foreign Office

SS-Oberfuehrer Klopfer Party Chancellery

Ministerialdirektor Kritzinger Reich Chancellery

SS-Gruppenfuehrer Hofmann Race and Settlement
Main Office

SS-Gruppenfuehrer Mueller Reich Main Security
SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Eichmann Office

SS-Oberfuehrer Dr. Schoengarth Security Police and SD
Chief of the Security Police and
the SD in the Government General

SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Dr. Lange Security Police and SD
Commander of the Security Police
and the SD for the General-District
Latvia, as deputy of the Commander
of the Security Police and the SD
for the Reich Commissariat “Eastland”.

II. At the beginning of the discussion Chief of the Security
Police and of the SD, SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich, reported
that the Reich Marshal had appointed him delegate for the
preparations for the final solution of the Jewish question in
Europe and pointed out that this discussion had been called for
the purpose of clarifying fundamental questions. The wish of the
Reich Marshal to have a draft sent to him concerning
organizational, factual and material interests in relation to the
final solution of the Jewish question in Europe makes necessary
an initial common action of all central offices immediately
concerned with these questions in order to bring their general
activities into line.

 The Reichsfuehrer-SS and the Chief of the German Police

(Chief of the Security Police and the SD) was entrusted with the
official central handling of the final solution of the Jewish
question without regard to geographic borders.

 The Chief of the Security Police and the SD then gave a

short report of the struggle which has been carried on thus far
against this enemy, the essential points being the following:

 a)   the expulsion of the Jews from every sphere of life of
      the German people,

 b)   the expulsion of the Jews from the living space of the
      German people.

 In carrying out these efforts, an increased and planned

acceleration of the emigration of the Jews from Reich territory
was started, as the only possible present solution.

 By order of the Reich Marshal, a Reich Central Office for

Jewish Emigration was set up in January 1939 and the Chief of the
Security Police and SD was entrusted with the management. Its
most important tasks were

 a)   to make all necessary arrangements for the preparation
      for an increased emigration of the Jews,

 b)   to direct the flow of emigration,

 c)   to speed the procedure of emigration in each individual

 The aim of all this was to cleanse German living space of

Jews in a legal manner.

 All the offices realized the drawbacks of such enforced

accelerated emigration. For the time being they had, however,
tolerated it on account of the lack of other possible solutions
of the problem.

 The work concerned with emigration was, later on, not only a

German problem, but also a problem with which the authorities of
the countries to which the flow of emigrants was being directed
would have to deal. Financial difficulties, such as the demand
by various foreign governments for increasing sums of money to be
presented at the time of the landing, the lack of shipping space,
increasing restriction of entry permits, or the cancelling of
such, increased extraordinarily the difficulties of emigration.
In spite of these difficulties, 537,000 Jews were sent out of the
country between the takeover of power and the deadline of 31
October 1941. Of these

 approximately 360,000 were in Germany proper on 30 January

 approximately 147,000 were in Austria (Ostmark) on 15 March

 approximately 30,000 were in the Protectorate of Bohemia and
 Moravia on 15 March 1939.

 The Jews themselves, or their Jewish political

organizations, financed the emigration. In order to avoid
impoverished Jews’ remaining behind, the principle was followed
that wealthy Jews have to finance the emigration of poor Jews;
this was arranged by imposing a suitable tax, i.e., an emigration
tax, which was used for financial arrangements in connection with
the emigration of poor Jews and was imposed according to income.

 Apart from the necessary Reichsmark exchange, foreign

currency had to presented at the time of landing. In order to
save foreign exchange held by Germany, the foreign Jewish
financial organizations were – with the help of Jewish
organizations in Germany – made responsible for arranging an
adequate amount of foreign currency. Up to 30 October 1941,
these foreign Jews donated a total of around 9,500,000 dollars.

 In the meantime the Reichsfuehrer-SS and Chief of the German

Police had prohibited emigration of Jews due to the dangers of an
emigration in wartime and due to the possibilities of the East.

III. Another possible solution of the problem has now taken the
place of emigration, i.e. the evacuation of the Jews to the East,
provided that the Fuehrer gives the appropriate approval in

 These actions are, however, only to be considered

provisional, but practical experience is already being collected
which is of the greatest importance in relation to the future
final solution of the Jewish question.

 Approximately 11 million Jews will be involved in the final

solution of the European Jewish question, distributed as follows
among the individual countries:

                Country                                          Number

A. Germany proper 131,800
Austria 43,700
Eastern territories 420,000
General Government 2,284,000
Bialystok 400,000
Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia 74,200
Estonia – free of Jews –
Latvia 3,500
Lithuania 34,000
Belgium 43,000
Denmark 5,600
France / occupied territory 165,000
unoccupied territory 700,000
Greece 69,600
Netherlands 160,800
Norway 1,300

B. Bulgaria 48,000
England 330,000
Finland 2,300
Ireland 4,000
Italy including Sardinia 58,000
Albania 200
Croatia 40,000
Portugal 3,000
Rumania including Bessarabia 342,000
Sweden 8,000
Switzerland 18,000
Serbia 10,000
Slovakia 88,000
Spain 6,000
Turkey (European portion) 55,500
Hungary 742,800
USSR 5,000,000
Ukraine 2,994,684
White Russia
excluding Bialystok 446,484

                          Total     over                     11,000,000

 The number of Jews given here for foreign countries

includes, however, only those Jews who still adhere to the Jewish
faith, since some countries still do not have a definition of the
term “Jew” according to racial principles.

 The handling of the problem in the individual countries will

meet with difficulties due to the attitude and outlook of the
people there, especially in Hungary and Rumania. Thus, for
example, even today the Jew can buy documents in Rumania that
will officially prove his foreign citizenship.

 The influence of the Jews in all walks of life in the USSR

is well known. Approximately five million Jews live in the
European part of the USSR, in the Asian part scarcely 1/4

 The breakdown of Jews residing in the European part of the

USSR according to trades was approximately as follows:

 Agriculture                                                      9.1 %
 Urban workers                                                   14.8 %
 In trade                                                        20.0 %
 Employed by the state                                           23.4 %
 In private occupations such as
 medical profession, press, theater, etc.                        32. 7%

 Under proper guidance, in the course of the final solution

the Jews are to be allocated for appropriate labor in the East.
Able-bodied Jews, separated according to sex, will be taken in
large work columns to these areas for work on roads, in the
course of which action doubtless a large portion will be
eliminated by natural causes.

 The possible final remnant will, since it will undoubtedly

consist of the most resistant portion, have to be treated
accordingly, because it is the product of natural selection and
would, if released, act as a the seed of a new Jewish revival
(see the experience of history.)

 In the course of the practical execution of the final

solution, Europe will be combed through from west to east.
Germany proper, including the Protectorate of Bohemia and
Moravia, will have to be handled first due to the housing problem
and additional social and political necessities.

 The evacuated Jews will first be sent, group by group, to

so-called transit ghettos, from which they will be transported to
the East.

 SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich went on to say that an

important prerequisite for the evacuation as such is the exact
definition of the persons involved.

 It is not intended to evacuate Jews over 65 years old, but

to send them to an old-age ghetto – Theresienstadt is being
considered for this purpose.

 In addition to these age groups - of the approximately

280,000 Jews in Germany proper and Austria on 31 October 1941,
approximately 30% are over 65 years old – severely wounded
veterans and Jews with war decorations (Iron Cross I) will be
accepted in the old-age ghettos. With this expedient solution,
in one fell swoop many interventions will be prevented.

 The beginning of the individual larger evacuation actions

will largely depend on military developments. Regarding the
handling of the final solution in those European countries
occupied and influenced by us, it was proposed that the
appropriate expert of the Foreign Office discuss the matter with
the responsible official of the Security Police and SD.

 In Slovakia and Croatia the matter is no longer so

difficult, since the most substantial problems in this respect
have already been brought near a solution. In Rumania the
government has in the meantime also appointed a commissioner for
Jewish affairs. In order to settle the question in Hungary, it
will soon be necessary to force an adviser for Jewish questions
onto the Hungarian government.

 With regard to taking up preparations for dealing with the

problem in Italy, SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich considers it
opportune to contact the chief of police with a view to these

 In occupied and unoccupied France, the registration of Jews

for evacuation will in all probability proceed without great

 Under Secretary of State Luther calls attention in this

matter to the fact that in some countries, such as the
Scandinavian states, difficulties will arise if this problem is
dealt with thoroughly and that it will therefore be advisable to
defer actions in these countries. Besides, in view of the small
numbers of Jews affected, this deferral will not cause any
substantial limitation.

 The Foreign Office sees no great difficulties for southeast

and western Europe.

 SS-Gruppenfuehrer Hofmann plans to send an expert to Hungary

from the Race and Settlement Main Office for general orientation
at the time when the Chief of the Security Police and SD takes up
the matter there. It was decided to assign this expert from the
Race and Settlement Main Office, who will not work actively, as
an assistant to the police attache.

IV. In the course of the final solution plans, the Nuremberg
Laws should provide a certain foundation, in which a prerequisite
for the absolute solution of the problem is also the solution to
the problem of mixed marriages and persons of mixed blood.

 The Chief of the Security Police and the SD discusses the

following points, at first theoretically, in regard to a letter
from the chief of the Reich chancellery:

1) Treatment of Persons of Mixed Blood of the First Degree

 Persons of mixed blood of the first degree will, as regards

the final solution of the Jewish question, be treated as Jews.

 From this treatment the following exceptions will be made:

 a)   Persons of mixed blood of the first degree married to
      persons of German blood if their marriage has resulted
      in children (persons of mixed blood of the second
      degree).  These persons of mixed blood of the second
      degree are to be treated essentially as Germans.

 b)   Persons of mixed blood of the first degree, for whom
      the highest offices of the Party and State have already
      issued exemption permits in any sphere of life.
      Each individual case must be examined, and it is not
      ruled out that the decision may be made to the
      detriment of the person of mixed blood.

 The prerequisite for any exemption must always be the

personal merit of the person of mixed blood. (Not the merit of
the parent or spouse of German blood.)

 Persons of mixed blood of the first degree who are exempted

from evacuation will be sterilized in order to prevent any
offspring and to eliminate the problem of persons of mixed blood
once and for all. Such sterilization will be voluntary. But it
is required to remain in the Reich. The sterilized “person of
mixed blood” is thereafter free of all restrictions to which he
was previously subjected.

2) Treatment of Persons of Mixed Blood of the Second Degree

 Persons of mixed blood of the second degree will be treated

fundamentally as persons of German blood, with the exception of
the following cases, in which the persons of mixed blood of the
second degree will be considered as Jews:

 a)   The person of mixed blood of the second degree was born
      of a marriage in which both parents are persons of
      mixed blood.

 b)   The person of mixed blood of the second degree has a
      racially especially undesirable appearance that marks
      him outwardly as a Jew.

 c)   The person of mixed blood of the second degree has a
      particularly bad police and political record that shows
      that he feels and behaves like a Jew.

 Also in these cases exemptions should not be made if the

person of mixed blood of the second degree has married a person
of German blood.

3) Marriages between Full Jews and Persons of German Blood.

 Here it must be decided from case to case whether the Jewish

partner will be evacuated or whether, with regard to the effects
of such a step on the German relatives, [this mixed marriage]
should be sent to an old-age ghetto.

4) Marriages between Persons of Mixed Blood of the First Degree
and Persons of German Blood.

 a)   Without Children.

      If no children have resulted from the marriage, the
      person of mixed blood of the first degree will be
      evacuated or sent to an old-age ghetto (same treatment
      as in the case of marriages between full Jews and
      persons of German blood, point 3.)

 b)   With Children.

      If children have resulted from the marriage (persons of
      mixed blood of the second degree), they will, if they
      are to be treated as Jews, be evacuated or sent to a
      ghetto along with the parent of mixed blood of the
      first degree.  If these children are to be treated as
      Germans (regular cases), they are exempted from
      evacuation as is therefore the parent of mixed blood of
      the first degree.

5) Marriages between Persons of Mixed Blood of the First Degree
and Persons of Mixed Blood of the First Degree or Jews.

 In these marriages (including the children) all members of

the family will be treated as Jews and therefore be evacuated or
sent to an old-age ghetto.

6) Marriages between Persons of Mixed Blood of the First Degree
and Persons of Mixed Blood of the Second Degree.

 In these marriages both partners will be evacuated or sent

to an old-age ghetto without consideration of whether the
marriage has produced children, since possible children will as a
rule have stronger Jewish blood than the Jewish person of mixed
blood of the second degree.

 SS-Gruppenfuehrer Hofmann advocates the opinion that

sterilization will have to be widely used, since the person of
mixed blood who is given the choice whether he will be evacuated
or sterilized would rather undergo sterilization.

 State Secretary Dr. Stuckart maintains that carrying out in

practice of the just mentioned possibilities for solving the
problem of mixed marriages and persons of mixed blood will create
endless administrative work. In the second place, as the
biological facts cannot be disregarded in any case, State
Secretary Dr. Stuckart proposed proceeding to forced

 Furthermore, to simplify the problem of mixed marriages

possibilities must be considered with the goal of the legislator
saying something like: “These marriages have been dissolved.”

 With regard to the issue of the effect of the evacuation of

Jews on the economy, State Secretary Neumann stated that Jews who
are working in industries vital to the war effort, provided that
no replacements are available, cannot be evacuated.

 SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich indicated that these Jews

would not be evacuated according to the rules he had approved for
carrying out the evacuations then underway.

 State Secretary Dr. Buehler stated that the General

Government would welcome it if the final solution of this problem
could be begun in the General Government, since on the one hand
transportation does not play such a large role here nor would
problems of labor supply hamper this action. Jews must be
removed from the territory of the General Government as quickly
as possible, since it is especially here that the Jew as an
epidemic carrier represents an extreme danger and on the other
hand he is causing permanent chaos in the economic structure of
the country through continued black market dealings. Moreover,
of the approximately 2 1/2 million Jews concerned, the majority
is unfit for work.

 State Secretary Dr. Buehler stated further that the solution

to the Jewish question in the General Government is the
responsibility of the Chief of the Security Police and the SD and
that his efforts would be supported by the officials of the
General Government. He had only one request, to solve the Jewish
question in this area as quickly as possible.

 In conclusion the different types of possible solutions were

discussed, during which discussion both Gauleiter Dr. Meyer and
State Secretary Dr. Buehler took the position that certain
preparatory activities for the final solution should be carried
out immediately in the territories in question, in which process
alarming the populace must be avoided.

 The meeting was closed with the request of the Chief of the

Security Police and the SD to the participants that they afford
him appropriate support during the carrying out of the tasks
involved in the solution.


January 17,1945 evacuation Auschwitz.

There are so few things that make sense in relation to the Holocaust, in fact there is nothing that make sense.

On January 17,1945

In mid-January 1945,the SS began evacuating Auschwitz and its subcamps. SS units forced nearly 60,000 prisoners to march west from the Auschwitz camp system. This murderous evacuation, known as the “Death March,” cost many of them their lives.

Thousands had been killed in the camps in the days before these death marches began. Tens of thousands of prisoners, mostly Jews, were forced to march either northwest for 55 kilometers (approximately 30 miles) to Gliwice (Gleiwitz), joined by prisoners from subcamps in East Upper Silesia, or due west for 63 kilometers (approximately 35 miles) to Wodzislaw (Loslau) in the western part of Upper Silesia, joined by inmates from the subcamps to the south of Auschwitz. SS guards shot anyone who fell behind or could not continue. Prisoners also suffered from the cold weather, starvation, and exposure on these marches. At least 3,000 prisoners died on route to Gliwice alone; possibly as many as 15,000 prisoners died during the evacuation marches from Auschwitz and the subcamps.

When you analyze this in a clinical way, the whole operation makes no sense. It is senseless from a military point of view, because they knew the Soviets were approaching, so why waste resources. Why not just leave them all in the camps and leave the Soviets deal with the prisoners, which would have delayed them.

It makes no sense on a human level either, purely because nothing made sense on a human level when it comes to the Holocaust.

Similar marches were taking place all across the eastern front after the SS chief Heinrich Himmler ordered that all able-bodied prisoners be taken to the Reich. But these able bodied prisoners would have been so weakened already, and even more so after the marches.

Although death might not have been the goal of the marches, that was however the fate of many, as the scattered gravestones that remain along these roads today still testify.

One of the survivors, Zofia Posmysz, recalled her inmate number: 7566. she remembered the biting cold on the night the guards gathered thousands of women outside the gates of Birkenau.

“We didn’t know what it meant that we would leave the camp,” she said. “We didn’t know if we would have to undergo some sort of selection”.

“We heard that those who could not walk would get to stay in the hospital, but we weren’t sure if they would be kept alive. We knew nothing and worried.”

Aside from the bitter cold and the physical violence, the victims were subjected to mental torture because they didn’t know what fate awaited them .

The march lasted until January 21,1945. Six days later, January 27,1945. Auschwitz was liberated.



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Happy Birthday Edith Frank

I often think that Edith Frank is a forgotten hero. Stuck with so many people in such a small space, desperately avoiding being discovered. That would be challenging to anyone’s health. But Edith could not afford to lose her sanity not even for a second.

She was born in the German city of Aachen, close to the Dutch border, on 16 January 1900. Aachen is only a 20 minutes journey from Maastricht in the Netherlands

She was the fourth child in a wealthy Jewish family. Her parents ran a family business, trading in scrap metal, machinery and parts, boilers, other appliances, and semi-finished products.

Her father, Abraham Holländer (1860–1928) was a successful businessman in who was prominent in the Aachen Jewish community together with Edith’s mother, Rosa Stern (1866–1942). The ancestors of the Holländer family lived in Amsterdam at the start of the 18th century, emigrating from the Netherlands to Germany around 1800. Edith’s maiden name, Holländer, is German for “Dutchman”

I wonder how excited Edith’s parents must have been in the dying days of the 19th century. Were they hoping that Edith would be born 16 days early, so that Edith would have been the 1st child born in the 20th century?

Edith had three siblings: Walter, Julius, and Bettina. Edith had a carefree childhood until her older sister Bettina died. The cause of her death is unknown. At only fourteen, Edith was harshly confronted with death. She still managed to get on with her life: she finished high school and worked in the family business for a few years.

In 1924, Edith met Otto Frank and they were married on May 12, 1925 in Aachen’s synagogue. Their first daughter, Margot, was born in 1926 whereas their second daughter, Anne, was born in 1929.

Anne has not much sympathy for her mother during their tumultuous years in the annex, and she only has a few kinds words to say about her, particularly in the earlier entries. Anne feels that her mother is cold, critical, and uncaring, that they have very little in common, and that her mother does not know how to show love to her children. I don’t think that Anne realised the anxiety her mother must have had trying to keep her family safe. Then again what teenage girl gets along with her mother?

However in Anne’s later entries of her diary, she tried attempts to look at her mother’s life as a wife and mother in a more objective manner. As Anne gets older and gains a clearer perspective, she begins to regret her quick, petty judgments of her mother. Anne has more sympathetic feelings for her mother.

According to Otto, Edith suffered more from their arguments than Anne did. ‘Of course, I was worried about my wife and Anne not having a good relationship. However, she truly was an excellent mother, who put her children above all else. She often complained that Anne would oppose everything she did, but she was comforted to know that Anne trusted in me.’

Edith Frank died on 6 January 1945, three weeks before the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and 10 days before her 45th birthday. The cause of death was malnutrition ,basically murdered by starvation.

It gives me comfort to believe that Edith is now celebrating her birthday with her family in heaven. And if the stars sparkle more brightly tonight I will know she had a good birthday. Happy birthday Edith Frank.


The murder of 10 women in Camp Vught.

Concentration camp Vught, also known as concentration camp Herzogenbusch , was the only purpose built concentration camp in the Netherland. The other 2 major camps, Westerbork and Amersfoort, were already built before the war as a refugee center and army barracks.

The construction of Camp Vught began in May 1942. The camp consisted of 36 living and 23 working barracks. It was surrounded by a double barbed-wire fence with watchtowers were placed roughly every 160 feet around the perimeter. The SS lived outside the camp. situated outside the camp.

On the night of 15th/ 16th January 1944 , 74 female prisoners were detained in a cell after they protested against the interment of a fellow prisoner. This was done under the authority of camp commander Adam Grünewald

The room with the surface of 9 m² had a poor ventilation system, and because of that ten women died of suffocation during the 14 hours of imprisonment. The news of this crime quickly got outside the camp and was extensively reported by the Dutch illegal press. This caused a problem to the Nazi leadership in the Netherlands, who were trying to limit such violent incidents in the camp in order not to fuel the resistance in the Netherlands.

Electronics company Philips had a factory within the compound of the camp. It employed about 1200 people, who received a better treatment then other prisoners.

Adam Grünewald was subsequently arrested for the “bunker tragedy” and tried by an SS court in February which gave him credit for his years of service and his contention that he “didn’t wish for the death of ten women.” He was convicted for their death but sentenced to only three and a half years imprisonment.

On several sites this is referred to as the “bunker tragedy” . I don’t see it as a tragedy, to me this was cold blooded murder. They only redeeming factor is that only 10 women died.



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Jacob de Mesquita

I look at the picture of Jacob de Mesquita and I ask myself “How was this possible?”

How was it possible that this baby was selected to be send to the gas chambers?

Was there not one person among the Auschwitz staff members who thought that this was wrong?

Was there no one who saw his angelic face and got a warm feeling inside?

I remember a scene in Schindler’s List where one of the SS Guards, rubs the head of a toddler as he is being carried into the Gas chamber. Did someone do that to Jacob and thought “What are we doing?”

Jacob de Mesquita was born on January 9, 1942. He was murdered 9 months later on October 15,1942, the same day as his mother Femmetje de Mesquita-Leijden van Amstel was murdered.

When I look at Femmetje , I think “was there no one who saw her beauty?”

Was there no one who thought that murdering a young woman in her prime was wrong?

Wasn’t there even any one who would consider her for sexual gratification? I know that still would be wrong but it would have been better then being gassed.

I just don’t get it how anyone could consider the destruction of innocence and beauty as the correct course of action.

Femmetje de Mesquita-Leijden van Amstel was 22 when she was murdered.

Isaac de Mesquita was the husband of Femmeke and the Father of Jacob, Isaac was murdered February 28,1943 in Auschwitz.

All 3 were born in Amsterdam , all 3 murdered in Auschwitz.


Industrial Murder

One of the most disturbing aspects of the Holocaust is the ‘wholesale murder’ approach the Nazis took, the industrialization of death.

The gassing already started in 1939 as part of the T4 program, the murder of the disabled, what really is sickening is the fact that the first of such killings was on request by parents of a severely disabled child.

But the T4 murders were relatively small scale, for lack of a better word, compared to the gassings that took place in Auschwitz, Chelmno, Sobibor and the other extermination camps.

The gassing was kind of suggested to be a humane way of killing. But there was nothing humane about it. It was only humane for the perpetrators. After the June 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union and Einsatzgruppe mass shootings of civilians, the Nazis experimented with gas vans for mass killing. Gas vans were hermetically sealed trucks with engine exhaust diverted to the interior compartment. Use of gas vans began after Einsatzgruppe members complained of battle fatigue and mental anguish caused by shooting large numbers of women and children. Gassing also proved to be more effective and cheaper.

On October 24, 1980, Lesław Dyrcz, a student from the Brynek Forestry Vocational School, found a leather briefcase buried at about 40 centimeters deep in the ground while clearing the area around Birkenau crematorium III of stub and roots. Inside the briefcase was a thermos liner which had belonged to Marcel Nadjari. a Jewish Greek

In November 1944, two months before the liberation of the camp, Nadjari had buried a twelve-page manuscript written in Greek on November 3 on pages taken from a notebook, in which he described his observations of Auschwitz

In his manuscript, he writes: I want to live, to revenge the deaths of Dad and Mum, and that of my beloved little sister Nelly.

Below are some notes of his manuscript.

“Our work was first to welcome them. Most didn’t know their fate. The laughed or cried. They were told they were going to take a shower and they went clueless to [their] death. To date, my dear ones, I don’t tell them they they are going for a shower, although I can lie to them, I only told them that I didn’t understand the language they spoke, and to the comrades, men and women, that I realised were doomed I told the truth.”

“Almost every time they kill, I wonder if there is a God and yet I have always believed in Him and still believe that God wants it, let His will be.”

“Often I thought of going in with the others, to put an end to this. But always revenge prevented me doing so. I wanted and want to live, to avenge the death of Dad, Mum and my dear little sister,”

“The crematorium is a big building with a wide chimney and 15 ovens. Under a garden there are two enormous cellars. One is where people undress and the other is the death chamber. People enter it naked and once about 3,000 are inside it is locked and they are gassed. After six or seven minutes of suffering they die,”

“The gas canisters were always delivered in a German Red Cross vehicle with two SS men. They then dropped the gas through openings – and half an hour later our work began. We dragged the bodies of those innocent women and children to the lift, which took them to the ovens.”

Nadjari did survive.

After the war he got married and in 1951 moved to New York. He already had a one-year-old son, and in 1957 his wife Rosa gave birth to a girl, whom they named Nelli – after Marcel’s beloved murdered sister.



I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks